3.2. Presumable entertainment
Even though in the beginning of the franchise, the primary idea was to organize just dinners in the sky, which has now expanded to other events – to organize wedding in the sky, meetings in the sky, theatre in the sky, concert in the sky and etc. (Events in the sky, 2011).
Presumable entertainment during dinner will depend on customers’ preferences – which could include a performance of violinist, pianist or singer, with another possible activity including a game of poker after the dinner. Entertainers would be performing on another platform, which is nearby the platform with tables and is held by another crane, see figure 1 and 3.
Source: (events in the sky, 2010)
3.3. Flexibility of locations
There is a great deal of flexibility in terms of the venue for the dinner in the sky experience. The franchiser outlines how a dinner in the sky event can be held anywhere as long as there is a surface of approximately 500m2 as 30 x 15 meters accessible, which is required for both crane & truck with trailer, along with 90 meters of steel barriers to secure the area. However authorization by the owner of the location will be required in advance (Events in the sky, 2010). The launch of the Edinburgh franchise will focus on one primary location as permission has been granted to set up the venue, with flexibility to change locations at clients’ requests. For more detailed information about layout of the venue, platform and its specifications see Appendix 5.
FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3
Source: (events in the sky, 2010) Source: (events in the sky, 2010)
- The overall equipment of the platform is fully mobile and can simply be moved to any location by the crane
- Catering for the events will be carried out by Heritage Portfolio. Chef will advance with all the guests and serves them up in the sky. However, main dishes are prepared on the ground, as no open fire is allowed on the platform
- There will be a location in the table for three chefs to cook (Events in the sky, 2010).
- In terms of the toilets on site at the location, such facilities will exist as requested by the franchiser. A guest will just inform a waiter when they need to use the toilets and the table goes down, which takes less than a minute (Events in the sky, 2010).
- There will be a location for a bar at the bottom of the lift where guests can get drinks once they enter the venue, the alcohol license will be obtained from the franchiser, similar to other franchise locations (Events in the sky, 2010).
- The table can seat 22 guests for dinner, providing flexible timings per session (Events in the sky, 2010).
- The Edinburgh Franchise will work closely with local press and magazines to promote this new unique experience based primarily in Princes St Gardens.
- Local papers, such as The Herald and The Post will be contacted before the launch of dinners in the sky, to promote the new business venture and begin the advertising process. -The dinner in the sky experience will also be advertised on Events Edinburgh, a popular event forum for the advertising of Edinburgh events.
- Flyers will also be printed prior to the launch and distributed in local areas, such as Princes St and the Royal Mile. Such flyers will also be placed in heritage organizations along with local attractions.
- The franchise will also look at working closely with local destination management companies and event companies which will help to promote corporate business and the private party element of the experience.
4. JUSTIFICATION OF ‘DINNER IN THE SKY’ PROJECT
As observed by Field and Keller (2004), a feasibility study highlights a proposal’s aims in terms of economic and technical constraints. It is important for Dinners in the Sky that such constraints are pointed out, along with issues which are important considerations in terms of feasibility. Therefore, the main areas to be focused on in the feasibility will include the following: location, climate issues, environmental issues, competition and demand, along with safety issues.
In terms of location for the diners in the sky operation, a site that is unique and exciting is required to add to the USP of the venture. At present, this unique experience has been in operation in over 30 countries, but has not been held in Scotland (Events in the sky, 2010). Therefore, there were many options as to where to base the platform in terms of the Scottish franchise. As there are few limits as to where the event can be held (Events in the sky, 2010), the chosen site for the franchises’ main location is therefore the picturesque Princes St gardens, just off Princes St, one of the main streets located in the city of Edinburgh. This site would offer guests with the ideal scenery of Edinburgh’s historical buildings, as the park is located close to Edinburgh Castle.
From observing operations which are currently in place around the world, it is apparent that the view that surrounds the guests whilst having dinner is crucial to the success of the event, thus Edinburgh’s historical sites and beautiful architecture is the ideal location for the site. As outlined by Edinburgh Councilor Steve Cardownie, “Dining in the sky will be memorable enough, but, with the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, our World Heritage Site and the views across the River Forth, this will surely be an unforgettable experience" (Informed Edinburgh, 2011)
4.2. Climate issues
As the weather in Scotland can be regarded as unpredictable, this could act as a major deterrent for visitors to the site, and therefore it is vital that such a factor is considered by the franchise. As weather will be an issue for many visitors to the attraction in Edinburgh, it will be highly advertised how the franchise offers a weather risk insurance which is 10 % of your global budget + 15 % insurance fee, of course will be dependent on the location and time of year of event (Events in the sky, 2010). Advertising will also focus on the availability of an infra red heating system for Dinners in the sky, with the majority of dinner seatings lasting approx 30mins (Events in the sky, 2010). The platform also has a cover above the table, which helps further protect form weather conditions (Events in the sky, 2010).
4.3. Environmental issues
In recent years, environmental and sustainability issues have become an incremental element in terms of organizing and planning events (Getz, 2005). The operations of the platform will be in line with all environmental criteria imposed by the local council of Edinburgh. As Swarbrooke (2002) identifies, due to a considerable increase in public awareness in green issues, tourist attractions must be seen to be environmentally friendly to their potential visitors. Thus the design of the event must be friendly to the environment, and be considered to play a vital role in the events operations, such as minimizing the amount of waste and increasing recycling on site. The venue must also be constructed incorporating an energy-efficient design, using environmentally friendly materials when developing the venue. However, it must be pointed out how the franchise must adhere to guidelines set by the franchiser in relation to construction and design elements.
4.4. Competition and demand
As this is the first franchise of Dinners in the sky to exist in Scotland, little competition is currently in existence in Edinburgh city, offering visitors a unique experience of dinner on a platform above ground overlooking the picturesque city. However, restaurants located nearby in venues, which would be regarded as unique or as a different experience would be considered competition for the franchise, see Appendix 7 and 8. However, as the experience is unique little competition will be experienced from nearby restaurants. As outlined by the franchiser; “floating’ 50 metres above the ordinary brings a whole new perspective to business meetings, corporate dinners, press conferences, product launches and entertainment in the sky. It also outlines how the experience offered has the ability to establish a bond between brand and consumer (Events in the sky, 2010). As dinners in the sky have already been held in Edinburgh during the Festival in August 2010, it is already an experience which has been successful, and in demand by the Edinburgh people and visitors to the city. “This is a global attraction which will draw visitors from far and wide and make headlines around the world,” (Norman, 2010).
4.5. Safety issues
As the experience is one which can be perceived by potential visitors as dangerous, safety will be one of the biggest priorities of the franchise. The platform itself is designed in conjunction with the German DIN 4112 certification, globally regarded as one of the toughest safety certifications to obtain and produced in Belgium under control of Rheinland TÜV (Events in the sky, 2010).The platform will also undergo regular services and checks to maintain the highest safety standards. Once the platform is in operation, only trained staff and a supervisor will be in a position to operate the crane. Each event will be assigned a supervisor who will manage the operations of the platform to ensure the highest standards of safety are met. The requirement of the franchiser of a safety area totaling to 15m x 30m will be fenced off with security control once the platform is in operation, only staff will be authorized to enter the safety area, unless guests are supervised by a member of the staff (Events in the sky, 2010). The supervisor will also be responsible to direct guests to their seats on the crane and fastening each guest’s seatbelt. Once guests enter the platform, they will be given a safety briefing, and the supervisor will be present for the duration of the event (Events in the sky, 2010). The main role of the supervisor during the event will be to monitor health and safety during the operating of the platform and to be in constant communication will staff members on the ground (Events in the sky, 2010).
5. CONSIDERATION OF STAKEHOLDERS EXPECTATIONS
According to Getz (2005), stakeholders are people or organizations could have such a big influence on the event or project which is in a position to determine its success. That is why their management is inevitable and so important.
As for “Dinner in the sky” project key stakeholders were identified:
- Edinburgh council
- Catering companies
Therefore, in order to identify likely success for “Dinner in the sky” project, these seven groups of stakeholder’s needs and expectations were analyzed, see Appendix 6.
6. KEY SUCCESS INDICATORS
According to Shone & Parry (2004) financial management and risk assessment are one of the most fundamental tasks in the management process of events and projects. Making a profit is a undoubtedly a crucial success indicator, however another one, which is maybe not that perceptible – attendees satisfaction is equally contributing to the events’ overall success, hence risk assessment is necessary to ensure it all goes well during the event.
6.1. Financial management
In the beginning stage of ‘Dinner in the sky’ event implementation in Edinburgh, an investment will be required to purchase the franchise of this business. Whereas data about how much this would cost was not available, presumable price for it was determined according to the value of this particular business on sale, see Appendix 10. Therefore it is most likely that an investment of approximately £200,000 will be required to purchase the franchise of ‘Dinner in the sky’ business. Main costs that the franchise will incur afterwards include:
- Catering costs (3 staff members per event – chef, waiter and entertainer)
- Staffing costs (2 staff member – supervisors per event)
In Dinner in the sky event’s case, the only source of income would be selling dinner events. There will be two different packages for two different event’s target groups – corporate clients and individuals (tourists and residents). Main differences of the packages – length of the dinner and what options of additional options are included in the price.
Individual customers – residents and tourist’s package price will be £50 per head for a 3 course meal 2 hours session event and the. Whereas corporate clients will be offered an extensive package deal with much higher price with a reference to other businesses of Dinner in the sky in other countries - £10,000 for 22 people 8 hours session.
For a more detailed overview of the budget and the price list, see Appendix 11 and 12.
6.2. Risk assessment
According to Allen et al (2004) in order to maximize its opportunities, at first business has to minimize its losses, hence assessing all the potential risks and measuring how to minimize them.
Regarding health and safety issues, all of them were already discussed previously in the proposal. However some other potential risks and ways on minimizing them have been reviewed, see Appendix 13.
The fact that event ‘Dinner in the sky’ was held once in Edinburgh before, during the festival in 2010 and was highly successful, just proves that this destination is ready for such innovative way of thinking.
Even though all over the world it mostly targets just corporate clients, in Edinburgh this business is planned to be performed in a slightly different way, by targeting three different market segments with different packages – corporate, residents and tourists.
Talking about possible venues for this project, there is a great deal of flexibility, as it could be actually held almost everywhere where customers want it to be, however in Edinburgh main venue as Princess Street Gardens is selected – Princess street Gardens, other venues options always open.
If return to the topic about why it has potential precisely in Edinburgh, this city is known worldwide as cultural festivals and events capital, therefore this kind of innovative event would just ensure its authority in this industry.
Overall, as analyzed in the proposal, even though certain challenges will face this franchise, detailed planning and organization of the overall operation will help to eliminate risks and this unique and innovative idea has the ability to be very successful in the capital of Scotland.
- Allen et al (2005) 3rd edition Festival and special event management John Wiley & Sons
- BBC News (2010) Edinburgh Festival to offer dinner in the sky [Online] Available at: [Accessed 19th March, 2011]
- Bowdin, G, McDonnell, I, Allen, J and O’Toole, W (2001) Events Management Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann.
- Burke, R (2003) Project Management (4th Ed) Chichester, John Wiley & Sons
- Events in the sky (2010) [Online]. Available at [Accessed 27th February, 2011]
- Events in the sky, 2010 [Online]. Available at [Accessed 2nd March, 2011]
- Field, M and Keller, L (1998) Project Management London, International Thomson Business Press.
- Getz (2005) 2nd edition Event management and event tourism Cognizant Communication Corporation
- Holloway, C.J. (2004). Marketing for Tourism (4th Ed). Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.
- Informed Edinburgh (2011) [Online]. Available at: http://www.informededinburgh.co.uk/whats-on/festival-in-the-sky-brings-dining-at-100-feet-to-edinburgh/ [Accessed at 2nd March, 2011]
- Leiper, N., (1995) Tourism Management: RMIT Press, Melbourne.
- Mc Cabe, S. (2009) Marketing Communications in tourism and Hospitality: concepts, strategies and cases. London: Butterworth-Heinemann
- Norman, O. (2010) Edinburg Festival to offer Dinner in the sky, available at [Accessed 28th February, 2011]
- Shone and Perry (2004) Successful Event management: A practical handbook Continuum
- Swarbrooke, J. (2002) 2nd Edition The Development and Management of visitors attractions Butterworth-Heinemann
- Questions 1-6 of survey inspired by ATLAS Cultural Tourism Research Project Questionnaire.
Appendix 1 – Price List and Extensive Venues of Heritage Portfolio
Exclusive Venues for Heritage Portfolio
Exclusive Caterer at the following National Trust for Scotland Properties
The dinner menu price includes the following:
- A dedicated event designer – to assist you throughout the planning, designing and creation of your event
- A dedicated hospitality manager – ensuring a professional service and seamless event on the day
- A dedicated team of chefs – planning, designing and delivering your menu with flair and expertise
- Fully trained service staff uniformed in white shirts, white bistro aprons and ties
- Floor length linen table cloths
- Linen napkins
- Fine white china
- Elegant long stemmed glassware
- Contemporary Montiverdi cutlery
- Six foot round tables
- Chairs (bentwood in most; may vary depending on venue)
Additionally, Heritage Portfolio is the Approved Caterers at the following venues:
* Please note the all the above mentioned cost do not include VAT.
Appendix 2 - Planning Permission
Subject: Planning permission for a hypothetical franchise [email protected] SR Assignment - SR Ref: 221925
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2011 10:28:20 +0000
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
CC: [email protected]; [email protected]
Thank you for your enquiry.
In my opinion, I don’t see any problems for this as a permanent feature.
Please see policies Env 6 and Env 7 of the Edinburgh City Local Plan and the Edinburgh Skyline Study. These documents together with information on making a planning application are available on the Council's Web site.
Planning permission was not required for this event last year, as it was covered under the following exemption from the requirement for planning permission:
The use of land (other than a building or land within the curtilage of a building) for any purpose, except as a caravan site or an open air market, on not more than 28 consecutive days at one time in any year, and the erection or placing of moveable structures on the land for the purposes of that use.
I hope this information is adequate for your requirements.
Development Management West Team
Planning I City Development Department I The City of Edinburgh Council I Waverley Court Level G2 I 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh. EH8 8BG I Tel 0131 529 3517
Fax 0131 529 3517
From: Paula O'Connell [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 24 February 2011 14:00
To: Just Ask
Subject: re: Planning permission for a hypothetical franchise
I am a postgraduate student at Edinburgh Napier University studying for a Msc. in event and festival management. I am currently undertaking a group project in which we are planning a hypothetical launch of a franchise of dinners in the sky, which was held in Princes St Gardens during the festival last August. For our hypothetical franchise of dinners in the sky, we would be considering using Princes St Gardens as the chosen site. Therefore, I was wondering if you could provide me with details on what would be the procedure in getting planning permission for the site, or if it is event possible for such to occur. Any information you could supply on this matter would be extremely useful for our project.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for your help,
This email and files transmitted with it are confidential and are intended for the sole use of the individual or organisation to whom they are addressed.
If you have received this eMail in error please notify the sender immediately and delete it without using, copying, storing, forwarding or disclosing its contents to any other person.
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Appendix 3 SWOT Analysis of Dinners in the Sky
Appendix 4- Pest Analysis of Dinners in the sky
Appendix 5 - Layout of the venue, platform and all technical specifications
Diner in the sky platform layout
Source: Events in the sky, 2010
Diner in the sky main venue’s layout
Source: royal-mile.com, 2010
Appendix 6 Stakeholder’s expectations
Appendix 7 Indirect competitors
Appendix 8 Competitors map
Appendix 9: Dinners in the sky in Edinburgh survey:
1. Where is your current place of residence?
-Edinburgh city centre
2.Please indicate your gender?
3.Please indicate your age group?
4.What is your highest level of educational qualification?
-master or doctoral degree
5.Which of the following categories best describes your current position?
-housewife/man or carer
6.Please indicate you current (or former) occupational group
-director or manager
-technical professions (technicians, nursing)
-service and sales personnel
-manual or crafts worker
7.Is your current occupation (or former occupation) connected with culture?
8.Do you eat out in restaurants in Edinburgh often?
-more than once a week
-once a week
-once a month
-twice a month
-only on special occasions
9.Have you ever heard of dinners in the sky?
-no (Go to Q.14)
10.If yes, have you ever been at a dinner in the sky event?
11.If yes, where was the location of dinner in the sky?
-Edinburgh-festival in the sky
12.If yes, would you be interested in attending another dinner in the sky event in Edinburgh?
13.if yes, would you recommend the experience to tourists visiting Edinburgh?
(go to Q.16)
14.If you have not attended a dinner in the sky event, where have u heard about it?
-word of mouth
15.If you have not attended an event before, would you be interested in attending a dinner in the sky in Edinburgh?
16.What would be the main factors influencing your decision to dine at a dinner in the sky event in Edinburgh over competitors?
-unique experience associated with the events
-atmosphere of the location
Thank you for taking the time for answering this survey :)
Key findings from survey:
Appendix 10 Dinner in the sky business for sale
Source: buy business.com, 2010
Appendix 11 the budget forecast for one year
Appendix 12 Price list
(Source: Events in the sky, 2010)
Package for corporate customers: for £10 000 8 hours session for 22 people, with all the options included in the price
Package for residents/ tourists: for £50 per head 2 hours session + price for desirable options.
Appendix 13 Risk assessment